University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #FAR8026

The Importance of Eating Breakfast1

Lindsay Place and Elaine Turner2

Figure 1. 
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

It can seem as if mornings just fly by when rushing to get ready for work or school. Eating breakfast can easily be forgotten or neglected on busy mornings like these. However, breakfast may be the most important meal that you and your family eat all day.

Eating a morning meal has many health ramifications. It is important to "refuel" your body after not eating for many hours during the night. Breakfast provides the glucose that is the primary energy source for the body and the brain. Gail Frank of the American Dietetic Association states that "Breakfast skippers often feel tired, restless, or irritable in the morning" (American Dietetic Association 2004). The brain's functions are very sensitive to changing glucose levels. Research has also shown that missing this meal diminishes the mental performance of children, young adults, and the elderly.

Eating breakfast may also help in weight management because it reduces hunger and prevents eating binges. People who eat a daily breakfast are "far less likely to become obese, compared to those who skip the first meal of the day" (American Dietetic Association n.d.), according to one study by the Harvard Medical School.

So to start off your day on the right foot, make sure that breakfast is included in your family's routine. Simple meals such as whole-grain cereals, fresh fruits, and eggs can be prepared easily and quickly. These kinds of foods also provide energy and many nutrients needed to stay healthy.

Listening, learning, and living together: it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at http://www.familyalbumradio.org.

To listen to the radio broadcast:

http://www.radiosource.net/radio_stories/eating.mp3

http://www.radiosource.net/radio_stories/eating.wav

References

American Dietetic Association. (n.d.) Trying to lose weight? Maybe you should have eaten breakfast. [Delinked October 18, 2012]. http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/home_4119_ENU_HTML.htm.

American Dietetic Association. (1996). Young adults most likely to miss A.M. meal, study shows. [Delinked October 18, 2012]. http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/media_2919_ENU_HTML.htm.

American Dietetic Association. (2004). During National Nutrition Month 2004, American Dietetic Association says breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Retrieved March 17, 2005, from http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=2038&terms=national+nutrition+month+2004.

Footnotes

1.

This document is FAR8026, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Broadcast as program 176 and published February 2008. Revised May 2008. Reviewed March 2012. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Lindsay Place, undergraduate student, and R. Elaine Turner, associate dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.